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TRUTH    4'?m2f Relativism: the world without truth

(scene: a classroom: several chairs in rows all facing exit)

(Alex and an unspecified number of other students enter one or 
two at a time, sit in chairs. Alex sits in end chair nearest 
audience)

PROF -- (enters with books and papers, crosses to podium, puts 
down books and papers) Okay, let's get started. Welcome to
Philosophy 101. I'm Professor Johnson. The first concept I want
to teach you is that there is no objective truth. Let me repeat
that. There is no such thing as objective truth.

ALEX -- (jumps up, shouts) Yah hoo!

PROF -- Excuse me. What do you think you're doing?

ALEX -- I'm rejoicing.

PROF -- Just exactly what are you rejoicing about?

ALEX -- What you're saying is that we don't have to take notes 
and we won't have any tests in this course.

PROF -- I never said that.

ALEX -- Well, that's what you implied.

PROF -- No, I didn't.

ALEX -- Sure you did. If there is no objective truth, that means 
that there are no right or wrong answers on the tests. So, why 
even have tests?

PROF -- Let me make a few things clear, before you go off half 
cocked. In this course, there will be two midterm tests and a 
final exam in order to measure how well you grasp the concepts 
of this course.

ALEX -- But if there is no objective truth, there's only my 
truth and your truth. And in that case, will your tests be 
testing my truth, your truth or (points to another student) his 
truth?

PROF -- Well, if you want to be contentious about it, you will 
be tested on the truth as I perceive it.

ALEX -- And what makes your truth more valuable than my truth or 
his truth? I mean, I really like the way his truth sounds. Maybe 
we should hear everybody's truth and vote on whose truth should 
be in the final exam.

PROF -- Since I am running this class, you will be tested on MY 
truth. (louder) Have I made myself clear?

ALEX -- But if there is no objective truth, what we'll be 
hearing from you is just your truth.

PROF -- That is correct. What's your point?

ALEX -- If there is no objective truth to measure your truth 
against, what makes your truth more valuable that ours?

PROF -- Because I say so!

ALEX -- Yes, but without an objective standard to measure truth 
against your truth is just your opinion. Don't you feel guilty?

PROF -- Guilty? Why would I feel guilty?!

ALEX -- Because you are accepting a paycheck for just spouting 
your opinion.

PROF -- To answer your question, I am being paid for SPOUTING my 
opinion because my opinion is based on many years of research. 
Now, do you mind if we continue?

ALEX -- Why bother? Your premise is flawed.

PROF -- What premise is flawed?

ALEX -- You said that there is no objective truth.

PROF -- That is correct. There is no objective truth. What is 
flawed about that premise?

ALEX -- Well, if there is no objective truth, then by definition 
it can't be true that there is no objective truth. You're 
premise nullifies itself.

PROF -- No it doesn't.

ALEX -- Alright, let's suppose for a second that the only thing 
in the whole universe that's absolutely true is that there is no 
objective truth.

PROF -- That's what I've been trying to tell you.

ALEX -- Good. That means that nothing is absolutely true.

PROF -- That's correct.

ALEX -- ....including your premise that there's no objective 
truth. Therefore, we can't take your premise seriously, since 
even your premise can't be absolutely true.

PROF -- Wait a minute. That can't be right. (mumbles)

ALEX -- Yes, it can, Professor Smith?

PROF -- My name is Professor Johnson.

ALEX -- That would be in YOUR perception of the truth. In my 
perception of the truth, you are Professor Smith.

PROF -- (throws up hands, exits) What's the use. Class 
dismissed.

ALL -- (cheer and exit, discussing excitedly)

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